Honda 1998 CBR900RR
Line Art Courtesy American Honda
a color rendition of the lightly modified 1998 CBR900RR frame
-- a fringe plot used in finite element analysis, a CAD system
for loading an item inside a computer to measure its strength.
success is much easier with a radical-looking machine. So Honda
redesigned the RR's upper cowl to provide a more "organic" look.
Protection at speed is excellent, with the "bubble" offering a nice,
quiet place for the rider to relax while barreling down the road
at illegal speeds.
chassis flex is good," announced a Honda spokesperson at an RR press
conference. Jaws dropped. "For street compliance, that is." Maybe
so, but on the racetrack frame flex sucks, and it seems Honda was
tired of getting hammered by journalists and racers. So lateral
(side-to-side) and torsional (twisting) stiffness was significantly
improved in the new frame by beefing up the lower section's wall
'98 CBR900 sports Honda's first tapered box-section aluminum swingarm,
similar to those found on last year's Yamaha YZF600.
The new swingarm
is significantly stronger: Torsional rigidity is up 19.5 percent,
while lateral stiffness increased a whopping 37.4 percent.
the beast: 5mm more trail means the fork tubes are 5mm closer to
the frame (trail is the distance, measured on the ground, between
the center of the front wheel and a line drawn out from the steering
head that meets the ground in front of the wheel. Thus, moving the
front wheel back adds trail). This is good: Added trail has been
a common modification made by racers to increase stability to previous
years' CBR900RRs. The lower triple clamps are now made of aluminum
instead of steel and increase fork span 10mm, resulting in a 10
percent increase in rigidity.
ratios have been widened up, reducing the amount of shifting needed
during street riding -- MO staffers tend to prefer wide-ratio five-speeds
with decent midrange power, thus we liked the new ratios, especially
since the motor has been made much smoother and more responsive.
Racers, however, will want the closer ratios offered last year.